Residents to return to Vancouver's homeless encampment after city cleared the site

  • Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Residents forced out of a Vancouver homeless encampment will be allowed back in this week after the city completed a cleanup of the site.

The City of Vancouver says in a statement that residents can move back into the designated area at Crab Park starting Thursday, after crews removed more than 90,000 kilograms of debris and material, 20 propane tanks and six generators.

The city says it has clearly marked each nine−metre−squared shelter site for each of the 27 residents who moved and has placed fresh gravel down to improve drainage and prevent muddy conditions.

The city announced plans to remove structures and clean the area last month, citing health and safety concerns that required residents to move to a different area of the park temporarily.

The statement says funding from BC Housing is being provided for new tents and canopies, along with canopies and supplies for some of the communal areas, such as an area for food storage and preparation, donation storage, and a gathering space.

The city’s move to clean the encampment faced pushback from advocates who called on the officials not to destroy any structures and to allow park residents to lead the cleanup themselves.

The Crab Park encampment began in 2021 and remained in place a year later when a B.C. Supreme Court judge set aside eviction notices, in part because the city didn’t have enough indoor shelter spaces to accommodate those living in tents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press